Health-conscious chocolate lovers could soon have reason to rejoice, following news Mondelēz International has developed a way of reformulating confectionery with 75% less sugar and fat, using plant-based fibres.
According to the company, which owns Cadbury among many other brands, food researchers at its R&D sites in Reading and Bournville in the UK, as well as Europe and the US, developed the new technique.
Plant-based fibres are increasingly drawing the attention of reformulation specialists. Many, like chicory root fibre and acacia gum can be used as effective sweeteners, while bringing actual sugar content within products down significantly. They are also considered clean-label ingredients, as opposed to artificial sweeteners.
Mondelēz claims its plant-based fibres can be utilised across a range of different confectionery to create lower fat, lower sugar, and lower calorie versions, including honeycomb, caramel, nougat, marshmallow, and fudge.
Utilising this “ground-breaking” reformulation technique will not compromise on taste or texture, Mondelēz says, and instead could be a huge step forward for the company’s non-HFSS offering.
The technology is the product of “several years” of development, according to Adam Harris, Principal Scientist, Wellbeing and Global Chocolate Technology Lead at Mondelēz.
He added: “This an exciting step on our continuous innovation journey to help give our consumers more choice when enjoying a treat.
“We know that consumers are not willing to compromise on taste or texture, especially when it comes to Cadbury products, so we are working hard to understand how we can apply this technology to new products as well as creating alternative, great-tasting versions of some of our best loved chocolate bars and biscuits.”
News of the plant-based fibres technology comes as part of a wider move by Mondelēz toward “mindful snacking”.
As part of its Snacking Made Right plan, and in time for the adoption of the UK Government’s first wave of HFSS regulations, the company released a range of non-HFSS products earlier this year. This included new goods across its Maynards Bassetts and The Natural Confectionery Co brands, and BelVita biscuits.
Also as part of the agenda, the company pledged to remove more than 10 billion calories from the UK market annually. It plans to do this by capping chocolate and sweet products typically purchased by parents for kids to under 100 calories.
Rimi Obra-Ratwatte, European Lead Nutrition Strategy & Communications at Mondelēz, said: “Our product portfolio strategies and initiatives at Mondelez International are underpinned by a robust team of Nutritionists who partner with our scientists and product developers to guide our approach and ensure that we deliver credible and meaningful choices for our consumers to enjoy.”
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